Episode 125: Best of 2017
Published on December 29, 2017
Aminatou: Welcome to Call Your Girlfriend.
Ann: A podcast for long-distance besties everywhere.
Aminatou: I forgot my own name. [Laughs]
Ann: I was waiting with baited breath.
Aminatou: Me too.
Ann: I'm like who am I talking to?
Aminatou: I was like who? What? I'm Solange Knowles. I'm Aminatou Sow.
Ann: And I'm Drew Barrymore.
Aminatou: [Laughs] We should start doing fake names at the beginning of every episode.
Ann: And I'm what the French call les incompetents.
Aminatou: Oh my god. Oh my god.
Aminatou: Hi Ann Friedman.
Ann: I'm Aminatou Sow.
Aminatou: It's been a long year. [Laughs]
Ann: It's been a long year. Like truly, truly, truly. Before we start today we have a little quick announcement which is that if you were not fortunate enough to make it to one of our several live shows this year we have a treat for you. We just released the recordings from the Philadelphia show and our very rowdy late night Brooklyn show which were this summer on Stitcher Premium.
Aminatou: All you have to do is go to stitcherpremium.com/girlfriend. If you use the offer code GIRLFRIEND you get a free month trial. You have one month to listen to us and to all the other amazing content that's on Stitcher Premium like Fruit that's a scripted series by Issa Rae that's really amazing and if you hang in until January friend-of-the-podcast Jessamyn Stanley has a new show that drops on Stitcher Premium. So there's really nothing to lose. You get us and other amazing ladies. Stitcherpremium.com/girlfriend, offer code GIRLFRIEND.
Ann: Okay, ugh, moving on. What are we talking about today? The fact that the year is done, done, done?
Aminatou: The year was done for me in August if I'm perfectly honest. [Laughs] The calendar's finally catching up with my reality.
Ann: Always ahead of the game. Too far ahead.
Aminatou: Oh my god. It's been a good, interesting year here at CYG. I sound like somebody who's about to give a work evaluation. [Laughs]
Ann: You sound like this is the beginning of the corporate annual report, like we have made great strides in 2017.
Aminatou: We're proud of your work. [Laughs] The world seems like it's on fire and my personal life seems like it's on fire but also it's like every year, some good, some bad.
Ann: I mean the state of California is actually on fire so yeah.
Aminatou: Y'alls little president doesn't take global warming seriously, so let me tell you, it's going to be real.
Ann: Yeah. I love the fantasy in the last few weeks of a year that we can really leave things in the past. Like there's sort of mostly wishful thinking, but being like no, no, we're leaving this horrible presidency and unchecked climate change and all these other things.
Ann: We're leaving those in 2017. Like we wake up on January 1st and we are not in fact hungover and watching Planet Earth reruns and getting stoned. No, no, it's a whole new world. It's like a collective fantasy.
Aminatou: Yeah, it's ludicrous. Let's talk about some highlights. What were CYG collective highlights?
Ann: Yeah, okay. Wow. What happened? What happened in CYG world this year? I mean we did a lot of good work. That's the other thing. I know this year was bad in a lot of ways but we had some incredible guests first of all.
Aminatou: Yeah. We had her highness Hillary Clinton on this very podcast. We had her highness Margaret Atwood on this podcast. We had her highness Ellen Pao on this podcast, her highness Chris Kraus on this podcast. Can you tell I'm watching The Crown? [Laughs] And I don't know how you're supposed to address royalty.
Ann: Honorifics only like her greatness, her excellency. Yeah.
Aminatou: Her excellency, her deepness, her wowness.
Ann: Oh my god.
Aminatou: Her writerly amazingness. Thanks so much for being here today.
Hillary: Thank you.
Aminatou: This is not about the book but it's about a book. We read that you were really into the Ferrante books while you were taking some time off.
Aminatou: So we were wondering who is your Lila?
Hillary: Probably my oldest friend. We became best friends in sixth grade. Her name is Betsy. And she and I have been through all of the ups and downs of our lives together and she's smart and loving and supportive and never thrown my doll into a grate. I mean she's really terrific.
Hillary: So probably -- I have great friends. I'm blessed by really good girlfriends. But she's the one that goes the farthest back and is still so much a part of my life.
Ann: So you mentioned reading the news and I know that you have said that much of your speculative fiction is drawn from real events in history or you've made that . . .
Margaret: Yeah, I don't put things in -- in Handmaid's Tale I didn't put anything in that hadn't happened or that couldn't happen given the technology. In Oryx and Crake I didn't put anything in that wasn't already being worked on.
Margaret: In Heart Goes Last, the same thing. They're working on it, including the baby's blood which is bad news for babies.
Ann: So do you read a lot of science news? Or how do you . . .
Margaret: I read -- from time to time I read quite a lot of science news. And because people know I'm interested in these things, any time there's an advance in lab meat I'm the first to hear.
Margaret: Somebody will send it to me on Twitter. Or oh, oh, here come the sex robots. I hear about those. They're certainly making improvements in them. The first models were quite clunky.
Ann: Tell me you don't have -- maybe you do have a sex robot.
Margaret: I do not have a sex robot. [Laughs] Nor am I one.
Ann: [Laughs] Thank you for clarifying.
Margaret: Yeah, but I get messages from them.
Ann: Oh yeah?
Margaret: I do, yeah. They've kind of backed off. I guess they've realized I'm the wrong person to be on their sex bot Twitter feeds but I was getting for a while some messages from them that thought I was a man.
Margaret: And purported to be young ladies interested in having sex with me.
Ann: Did you reply?
Margaret: No, I did not. There's no point trolling the sex robots.
Ann: [Laughs] Far too busy for that.
Ellen: I'm Ellen Pao. I am the cofounder and CEO of a non-profit called Project Include. In the beginning you could just power through stuff and you explain it as oh, that's just one bad actor. That's one person who does not get it and wants to have those all-male dinners or wants to ask me to go get cookies and they're just kind of clueless. But it's something just small and they'll just keep moving forward. Then you get to a point where you realize oh, it's a lot of people. It's not just one. And it's not just happening to me; it's happening to all the women, or all the people of color, or all the women of color. And we can't get ahead. And that's what happened when I was at Kleiner. I realized we all did not get promoted in that one round and almost all the men got promoted. So the women didn't get promoted, the men got promoted, and if you look at the women's investments, one of the other partners had taken the time to do the analysis. The women had much better investments than the men.
Aminatou: Venture capital should take a huge chunk of the responsibility for how this is working, not just because their own diversity numbers are so dismal, but also because some of the most egregious claims of harassment that have come out lately, that also lays at their feet. But they are the ones that a lot of the times are responsible for agenda setting. And do you have anything to say about that?
Ellen: At the end of the day it's what do you track and measure? And they're not tracking diversity statistics. They're not tracking whether people are getting harassed or whether there are complaints at their portfolio companies. They don't want to know. So they want to live in this world where they have these great conversations about growth and hockey sticks and rocket ships and they don't really -- and unicorns -- but they don't want to talk about here are the hard problems and let me help you fix them so they don't compound and continue into the future. And I think some of the hardest problems are around harassment and discrimination, but as you said their hands are not clean.
So I don't have a ton of hope for venture capitalists. I focus on . . . like Project Include, we focus on CEOs because we think we've seen some who are really interested in inclusion and really want to do the hard work. We've seen that they can have a huge influence on their companies and that's an area where venture capitalists have not made much motion or anything and in that vacuum the CEOs have a lot of ability to do whatever they want. So we're hopeful that CEOs will take charge and really put the work into building inclusion into their cultures early so as they scale it grows with them.
I know Google has had a ton of trouble and I think it's because they started focusing on it too late and once you get to be what Erica Baker calls that tanker ship it's really hard to move more than one or two degrees. But as a small, early stage startup, you make your team diverse from the very beginning and you make sure that your policies are inclusive and you're constantly looking at it. Hopefully you can be a new kind of tanker ship that actually works.
Aminatou: Yeah, we had some great, great, great people on the show that we admire. We also did some episodes that were, you know, less us chatting and doing a little bit more concentrating on topics.
Ann: You mean reporting? You did some reporting this year.
Aminatou: Sure. Am I a reporter? [Laughs]
Ann: You totally did. We both did.
Aminatou: Intrepid podcast reporter Aminatou Sow.
Ann: I mean 100%. I'm going to make you a little desk plate that says that.
Aminatou: Yes! Well, listen, I am our nation's foremost pelvic reporter. I will claim that.
Ann: Oh my god, our pelvic correspondent for now and for always. You did some incredible interviews with experts about that region of the body and what people who have pelvises need to know about it.
Aminatou: Oh my god. So small, so powerful.
Laura: My name is Laura Todaro and I am a certified nurse midwife. And for me personally that means that I care for pregnant and not-pregnant patients in the community clinic and then I also deliver babies at our county hospital.
Aminatou: It had never kind of occurred to me that if you were not pregnant or planning on being pregnant that, you know, you could be in business with a midwife.
Laura: Totally. You know, I care for young women who are coming for birth control counseling or STD testing or today was kind of a typical day actually where I saw someone who was 36 weeks pregnant and getting her ready for the delivery. Then I had someone for a pap and I had someone who came in for STD testing, someone for birth control, and then a woman who was coming for a breast exam and needing a mammogram. So the whole gamut.
Aminatou: The whole spectrum. That's great.
Aminatou: And you also said that you are trained specifically in performing gentle pelvic exams especially for women who have a history of sexual or reproductive trauma.
Laura: For sure. Yeah. In my clinic, unfortunately but this is actually true in most settings, I have a lot of patients who have had either sexual or reproductive trauma and it's really of the utmost concern that we care for them in a way that feels respectful and that honors their autonomy. And I would say that that's one of the core practices of midwifery is that we're treating the whole woman and that could include all of her experiences up until the point that we see her.
And some of that might mean actually that I limit the amount of exams that I do. Like I actually had a patient who came to me with concerns about vaginal discharge that looked like she might've had some kind of vaginal infection going on but she couldn't tolerate a pelvic exam because of sexual violence that she's had in her life. And so we didn't do one. Like I diagnosed her based on symptoms and a sample that I could get without doing a speculum exam.
Dana: My name is Dana Taussig. I am a physical therapist and I work with general outpatient orthopedic problems but I also specialize in pelvic health.
Aminatou: Why would a human -- what is the spectrum of pain you have to be on to go to your kind of doctor?
Dana: In the physical therapy perspective we focus on function kind of above all else. So in all honesty part of my job both when we're focusing on the pelvis and when we're not focusing on the pelvis is telling people that pain is a part of life, so there is some amount of bodily pain that is somewhat expected.
But when it starts to interfere with your function in life meaning your ability to do the things you love to do, to participate fully with your friends and your lovers, to do things joyfully, then it's a problem that you should be reaching out to someone about.
Aminatou: So with stuff like bladder plane, endometriosis pain, any kind of urinary or like fecal leakage . . .
Dana: Yes. Yes.
Aminatou: And like that general area?
Dana: Pretty much. We pretty much can broadly categorize that into any pain that has to do with the pelvis. So, yeah, bladder, pain in the vulva so kind of external what people would call vaginal pain or internal vaginal pain, tailbone pain, perineal pain. Those are all distinct things.
And then on the other side of the broad strokes -- broad stroke spectrum, we have the incontinence type problems as well. So one of the types of urinary leakage or fecal leakage. Those -- yeah, those all fall into the realm of things people might see us for.
Aminatou: I know this but for our listeners what does kind of a typical visit look like? When you go in. Depending on the kind of pain you have I guess.
Dana: Yeah. And it will -- it will vary certainly depending on the patient and it will also vary to some extent depending on the provider. And that's . . . it's a small variance. There are certainly some things that we are all expecting to do but typically with most physical therapy when you first walk in you are going to talk to your therapist for a while and get -- we want to get a sense of what you're coming in for, what your functional problems are, meaning how it's affecting you in daily life.
Sometimes with a pelvic problem you'll be asked to fill out a bladder or bowel diary ahead of time because that also gives us a sense of how your muscles are functioning down there and we'll kind of talk about all that stuff to start. So sometimes I end up talking to people for 15 minutes; sometimes we end up talking for 45 minutes depending on how long the story is. We'll ask about sexual activity and hopefully you'll also be asked about any history of sexual trauma, anything we need to be aware of moving forward.
And then once we've kind of wrapped up the basics of what we're going to talk about at that first appointment we'll move on to a physical exam. What I would -- will do next is a more general physical exam to start, so we look at posture, generally look at leg strength. We generally check out the abdomen for any scars, probably feel at your belly, look at how you're breathing which you mentioned at some point in the past couple of weeks is a thing for you. [Laughs]
Aminatou: Yeah, it's like who know? If your pain is so sharp that you can't breathe you should probably get off WebMD and go to the doctor.
Dana: Right. That's a life lesson I guess.
Aminatou: It's a process. It's a process. I'm learning. I'm learning. I'm learning to listen to my body.
Dana: But also just how you breathe can affect how your pelvic floor is functioning as well so it can kind of be a little bit of a vicious cycle. So we look at breathing and then once we get through all that general stuff, depending on if the patient is up for it, we'll do an internal exam. And internal exams will be either vaginal or rectal depending on what's going to be more pertinent for the problem.
You know, everything we do is really step-by-step and it's patient consent every step of the way so we'll both look at and palpate, so touch for any painful spots externally to start. So pressing around the vulva seeing if there are any particular tender points there. That can cue us into if there's something going on internally, and then potentially moving on to an internal exam. Our internal exams, that everyone should realize, we don't use speculum.
Dana: Well, I don't. You may have had one that did. And generally the training that I went through is we generally don't because by and large what we're looking for is how the muscles feel both when they're contracting and when they're resting. The visual aspect of what is going on internally is not as critical for what we're addressing. In general people have been screened by a gynecologist before they've come to me anyway so anything that needs to be assessed with a speculum has already been assessed.
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Aminatou: I really enjoyed all of the interviews we did around running for office, you know? I think it was everything from candidates that we interviewed, people who won big, and some people who will be running again. And also talking to politicians like Kirsten Gillibrand and Katherine Clark who they've done the hard work of running and winning and are representing people and representing their ideals in Congress. That's really awesome.
Kirsten: If we had 51% of women in Congress we certainly would have national paid leave by now. We certainly wouldn't be debating whether women should have access to contraception and I think we'd have done a lot more about sexual violence. And so we just have to keep fighting and for all your listeners really encouraging someone you know and love to run, and if none of them will run then you need to run.
Aminatou: Oh, I'm planning on it.
Kirsten: You just have to say "I need to run and I'm going to run and I'm going to be heard on this issue or that issue." And it matters. And if we do it, if we all do it, if we all take responsibility for our own communities it will change everything.
Ann: Totally. And one of the things that I -- you know, obviously every time we featured amazing people who were running or who have run and won we got dozens and dozens of emails from listeners who are like "Oh my god, there's this woman you should know about in my area," or "there's this person I've been donating to." And all of that has been great, and I think, you know, this is one hour once a week and one of the things that brings me a lot of joy is we don't have time to talk about all of the incredible people who are running for office for the first time, for the second time, for the third time, you know? And who are out there doing the good work in advance of the midterms which we know are coming up next year and in advance of 2020 which, you know, some people are seeing as the next election. It's definitely not.
Ann: We've gotten so many incredible recommendations through the #CYGRuns hashtag and just in emails that listeners have sent us about incredible candidates that are running in all different types of races around the country. If you don't get The Bleed, well, first of all get The Bleed, our monthly email newsletter. But if you don't you might've missed a really incredible story about a woman who ran for the first time in 2016 for the state legislature in Kansas and some of the incredible change she was able to make in a really short time. And so you can find that on our archive on our website so I won't spoiler alert it, but for future reference get The Bleed. Lots of great stories have come from that hashtag and from your emails and we are super pumped about all these women running.
Aminatou: Yeah. So stay tuned also for some announcements about how we can keep supporting people who are running. Keep using the #CYGRuns hashtag. Like I'm super excited about this.
Ann: Yeah. We're in this for the long haul, for sure, so we've got some stories of women who are doing it.
Aminatou: That's right. Who was the first person that we interviewed, Ann?
Ann: We together talked to Laura Moser who at the time we chatted with her was in Brooklyn for an event getting the word out about her campaign but is running for Congress in the 7th District of Texas which is basically Houston, correct?
Aminatou: It is Houston. It's also my adopted district now. Also I think you're failing to mention the event we saw Laura at was her first-ever political event.
Ann: Oh my god, yeah. So it was amazing to see in action what it looks like when someone who is very engaged politically as a citizen starts to make the transition to becoming a politician. It was amazing.
Aminatou: It was. It was really cool to hear somebody who knows their shit but also is not a snake oil peddler, who is just a regular person, sounds like your friends, be really honest about what they know and what they don't know and what their ambition is. You know, but also care enough about where they're from to leave where they currently live and go home to change where they're from.
Ann: Yeah. And I was really struck listening to her at that event but also in our interview about how there is a contrived folksiness that a lot of politicians have when let's be real they've been running for office since they were 12. And they're like "Well, I don't know. I'm just an outsider," at a certain point when they try to pitch themselves. But what I love about her story is she's like "No, I'm a really competent professional. I'm really engaged in politics. I'm not some wide-eyed outsider. But also this is a new skill set for me. It's like a new type of job."
Aminatou: Yeah. And so listen to our interview with Laura right now.
Laura: My name is Laura Moser. I'm a candidate for Congress in the Texas 7th. I just arrived from Brooklyn this afternoon. I went to Atlantic Avenue for a shawarma and then tried to take a nap.
Aminatou: Oh, thank you so much for giving us your time. Can you tell me a little bit more about the Texas district that you're running in? Like what's special about it? What are kind of the challenges? And what makes you the person to run in this district?
Laura: Sure. That's a lot. That's a lot of post-nap questions. The Texas 7th is the district where I grew up and went to school, where my grandfather arrived as a refugee from Nazi Germany in 1942, and we've been there ever since. It is George H.W. Bush's congressional district that he represented in 1966 and it has never been held by a Democrat since then. However it is also the district that swung the widest from 2012 to 2016 in that Romney carried it by 20 points and Hillary won it in 2016. So it's a very vulnerable district for Republicans, however much they've tried to protect it. I think I'm the best person to represent it because after the election I started this activism organization called Daily Action and I just think our country needs more kind of citizens to take charge.
I have a record of getting things done. I love the district. I love Houston. As we've discussed it's the most diverse city in the country. People don't know that who don't live there but there's actually a lot of really cool people all over Houston who are not on the Trump train. I am one of them, both cool and not pro-Trump.
Ann: Women are out here running and winning.
Aminatou: Right, like freedom is work and we're all working on it together so that's been really encouraging to see. And also, you know, my favorite emails we get are all the ones where somebody's like "Hey, I might not be running for office or whatever but here are all the other ways I've encouraged this other woman in my network too." And I'm like yeah, that's important as well.
Ann: Yeah, I love it. And I think we're definitely going to keep talking about this and keep playing the long game. That's really the only game we play.
Aminatou: I know.
Aminatou: My other favorite thing that we did in 2017 was introduce some guest hosts. We had the amazing ladies from She's All Fat on here.
Sophie: I'm Sophie.
April: I'm April and this is She's All Fat.
Sophie: The podcast for body positivity, radical self-love, and chill vibes only. Body positivity is about taking images and discussions and showing up for fat bodies and other marginalized bodies as a way to change the public discussion about those bodies and try to fight for justice for those bodies.
April: And even though it seems like with popular culture and journalism this idea is brand new, it's not new is it?
Sophie: No, it's not new. It developed from specifically fat liberation movements in the 1970s. There were a lot of groups like The Fat Underground or other smaller collectives in Los Angeles and New York and San Francisco that did things like create zines and have meetups. Then it moved on in the '90s to groups like The Body Positive which is still a website. You can go look at their group. They do like workshops and speaking things. And now it's trickled down to kind of more individual-level grassroots work on blogs and Tumblrs and Instagram accounts which is probably how most of the listeners of today's podcast have heard about body positivity.
Ann: Totally. So if you've ever heard the hashtag #FUBeautyStandards, what else are the good ones?
Sophie: Like there's #AllBodiesAreGoodBodies. There's like -- even all the curvy ones I think basically come from this. It's like #CurvyCutie or like #BikiniBody or whatever.
Ann: Yeah. If you ever saw a chubby girl on Instagram in a bikini and she's like #ILoveMyself . . .
Sophie: It's from this.
Sophie: [Laughs] So April tell me more about body positivity. What are the goals of body positivity?
April: Okay, there are a lot of goals, a lot of hotly-contested goals, but the main ones that most people tend to agree with is that, number one, about disrupting the status quo. So about this idea that a thin, white, cis, Aryan body is no longer the goal for everyone and there can be a whole bunch of different types of bodies and they're all equally chill.
Aminatou: We had the amazing, amazing ladies from Good Muslim, Bad Muslim and our friends Lindsey and Bobby from Who Weekly.
Zahra: Welcome to a conversation with . . .
Zahra: And Zahra.
Taz: Of the Good Muslim, Bad Muslim podcast!
Zahra: Yeah. And this month doing the show at Shangri La live it was particularly interesting because there was this way that since we were there to record our live podcast it was like we were also then there . . . it felt like for some audience members there -- the white audience members in particular -- we were also there to sort of answer all questions as an exhibit of Muslim women.
Taz: Yeah. It felt like we were in an art museum.
Zahra: This white woman came up to me after the show, and during the show, and you'll hear this on our episode of Good Muslim, Bad Muslim for the month of August actually. I talk about this rash that I got on my arm that I had to go to urgent care for and it was one of those rashes where you're like is this an emergency room rash or just like a bad rash? And I actually went in and they were like "Oh, yeah, this is a total emergency," and I got two penicillin shots and it was this big deal. And I talk about it in the story and the hot doctor involved. And after the episode this woman walked up to me, this white woman, maybe 50s, and she says "I'm so glad that you got your arm taken care of because my husband lost his leg. Can I wear hijab? Why can't I wear hijab?"
Taz: So she just went straight from one into the other question? It's like no stopping?
Zahra: Boom. Just like no . . . and I was like "I'm sorry, what?"
Taz: Like you didn't have time to recover from the fact that her husband lost a leg from the same thing you're suffering from, and then all of a sudden you have to talk about hijabs?
Zahra: On behalf of all Muslims. And I made the joke. I was like "Oh, ha, ha, you mean can you wear a hijab? Like you're asking me as a Muslim woman speaking on behalf of all Muslims?" And she said "Well, yes."
Lindsey: Welcome to a very special Call Your Girlfriend edition of Who? Weekly the podcast where you'll learn everything to know about celebrities you don't. I'm Lindsey Weber.
Bobby: I'm Bobby Finger.
Lindsey: You might recognize us from past episodes of Call Your Girlfriend, or if we're so lucky that you happen to also listen to our podcast Who? Weekly you might know us as the podcast that also has Amina on a segment we like to call Who Dat?
Bobby: So Who? Weekly is a podcast is about not Thems, as in the person you see on the cover of a magazine and say "Oh, them." They're about the people you see on the covers of magazines and on your headlines and all your blogs like Just Jared or E! News where you go "Who's that? I don't know who that is." Usually that person is Julianne Hough or Rita Ora but sometimes it's someone else. So we talk about all those people every week because fortunately for our business there's a new indecipherable new person in Hollywood every single week. And that's what we talk about in our podcast.
Lindsey: Fortunately for the business of Us Weekly, In Touch Magazine, Star Magazine, People Magazine, and the like.
Bobby: Fortunately for the entire industry there's always someone on the come-up. Whether or not they become Thems is not up to us but we just help explain who these people are that you are inundated with every day of your life if you are ever on the Internet.
Lindsey: If you call off a divorce it means you're still together.
Lindsey: Right? Yeah. Okay.
Bobby: Yeah, and she's doing great.
Lindsey: I mean that's what she said, she's doing great. She's doing great.
Bobby: "I'm doing great." And we feel happy for Naya Rivera I guess.
Lindsey: I mean I'm happy for her because while she was on hiatus from her husband that she called off the divorce with she dated David Spade briefly so I think she maybe said to herself hmm, maybe I should call off the divorce. [Laughs]
Bobby: How did I forget that little flash in the pan romance? Weren't those photos a shock?
Bobby: I mean those photos immediately . . . remember Jessica Lowndes' and Jon Lovitz's fake relationship?
Lindsey: I'll never forget it.
Bobby: Immediately after seeing those photos I was like oh, this is fake.
Lindsey: It wasn't fake.
Bobby: Naya River is releasing a song. She's starring in a movie with David Spade. But no, it was real. It was real.
Lindsey: It wasn't fake. Us Weekly will never let you forget that that happened because it's literally their kicker. The last sentence in this article is "During her time apart from Dorsey the Step Up High Water star briefly dated comedian David Spade." Rude on so many levels, that sentence, if you read it a few times which I have.
Bobby: They split in June. It seems like Naya River has come to her senses and she's happy. She's doing good.
Lindsey: I mean, yeah, she's doing good.
Bobby: She's doing good. You know, sometimes it just takes a brief fling with David Spade to put your entire life into perspective.
Lindsey: That's so true.
Bobby: If we could all just go on brief flings with David Spade, you know, just to figure it out.
Lindsey: If you're ever feeling down see if you can get a date with David Spade and you'll feel so much better about yourself, and then you'll stop dating David Spade and maybe move forward.
Bobby: Or maybe at some point maybe someone's just going to fall for David Spade and they're going to realize their entire life before dating David Spade was a lie and all they've ever wanted was David Spade.
Aminatou: I like it that we can give a platform to podcasts that we care about. Also it gives us some time off which honestly was my scam all along. [Laughs] And our community is so tight-knit. I want people to know all of the things that we like and it just so happens that the Venn diagram is very strong here.
Ann: Totally. And I think about both in terms of our pals who guest hosted for us so we could take a little vacation but also in terms of some of the guests that we've had on and interviewed. Like whenever I see articles that show a breakdown of how few women and people of color are quoted as expert sources or when I see a future of podcasting whatever that only features white dudes who used to work for Obama, you know what I mean? Where I'm like oh, wow, our world is very rich and these people are all here and it feels very good to be able to point to a body of work from the past year where we're like "Actually these are all the people we are happy to be doing this alongside." You know what I mean? And just kind of collecting them in one place and saying that we are not outliers.
Aminatou: It's interesting to me how personal this moment feels for a lot of people when it's actually very small. It's definitely prominent people in media and food. We still haven't gotten to the realness of this is actually how work is just for regular people, not people with big microphones all the time. And hopefully that's the direction that we're moving in in 2018.
Ann: And it's starting to happen. You know, recently there was a big report about harassment at Ford assembly plants and I think those stories where neither the people coming forward to tell their stories nor the people who are accused of or charged with bad behavior are famous. Like that is a real thing that I think is important towards having everyone recognize that this is systemic and it's not one famous bullying outlier; it's systemic. So maybe . . . yeah.
Aminatou: Yeah, and the standard isn't what is the most horrendous assault that can happen to you at work?
Aminatou: You know? Because I think that the way a lot of the media stories are framed is oh my god, look how monstrous this person can be. And it's like actually we've all had our monsters, from the person who grabbed your butt in the subway when you were 15 that you never saw to the person at work who made you feel like you didn't belong there. All of those -- you know, for women, we don't put them on a spectrum of "Ugh, this is the one that broke my spirit." It's like no, no, death by a thousand paper cuts.
Ann: Right. And I have also started to see a few things that involved more behind-the-scenes due diligence when it comes to taking behavior like this seriously. I was just reading about a startup dude who didn't get funding because people did their due diligence and found that women who had worked with him had had terrible experiences. That's different than being publicly held up as a monster who "deserves to be fired" but that's like people privately taking this behavior into account when they make decisions about who gets to accrue more power. And those things which are never going to be blaring front page headlines give me some hope too about things progressing.
Aminatou: Yeah. And I think the thing that's been the most encouraging to me in the last weeks of this is friend-of-the-podcast Rebecca Traister and a bunch of other people have started to write really more about how it's not about sex; it's really about work for women, you know? And I think that framing it that way, literally all women want is to show up at work and be able to do their best work. And here is what we're losing from this. I hope that that gets burned into the lizard brains of everyone, that it's not about these titillating sex stories and who's marrying who at work and whatever, you know?
Ann: Ugh. Lizard brain is truly the final frontier, like changing lizard brains. [Laughs]
Aminatou: Lizard brain is the final frontier. Listen, I was confronted with my own lizard brain very recently where I had four flights in a row where I had women captains on the plane and one of those flights had terrible turbulence. And Ann, you know me. You know me on planes.
Ann: Aww. Were you freaking out?
Aminatou: It was awful. Oh, I was freaking out because it was one of those things that as soon as we took off she said "I'm so sorry but the next three hours are going to be like this." And it was bad. People were busting out the puke bags. It was pretty bad. And I realized at some point where she was reassuring us, like every couple minutes she would check in or whatever, I was like wow, this is a new experience for me. [Laughs] And reconciling this thing. And she was this very young woman, definitely sounded like a millennial. I was like I would love to meet you in the grocery store and not in this plane that's probably going to crash. And the woman next to me turned to me and goes "I've never heard a woman captain take charge before." And I was like me neither. And we sat there and were like god, the lizard brain is very powerful.
Aminatou: I know! But she got us home clear and sound. Thanks Captain Stephanie from Delta. It was great.
Ann: Oh my god. Women captains forever in every industry in 2018.
Aminatou: I know! But then the rest of the flight -- the rest of my trip was like that. It's like I had all women captains on these three random flights. It was very delightful.
Ann: Truly blessed.
Aminatou: I know. More women should fly planes.
Aminatou: Anyway, slight detour into my own lizard brain phase. [Laughs]
Ann: But yeah, that's it. Gina, thanks for making this clip reel of 2017, the year that was. Good riddance 2017.
Aminatou: I know. What if Gina's clip reel is literally every time that we mess up the top of the show? [Laughs]
Ann: Oh my god, Gina, are you going to do a blooper reel?
Aminatou: Because that's all I think about. Every time I'm like this fool is storing all this terrible stuff and it's all going to come out about how I literally can't say "Hello, this is Call Your Girlfriend and here is my name."
Ann: Sometime we're going to cut one too many Square Space ads.
Aminatou: 52 weeks.
Ann: And Gina's going to call our bluff and make that episode. [Laughs]
Aminatou: I'm telling you, 52 weeks in a row of incompetence but she makes us look amazing.
Ann: It's true. Ugh.
Aminatou: Love you Gina! Good bye 2017. And to all of our listeners, thanks for hanging in with us and just being pals. It's been fun.
Ann: Yes! You're the best. We have the best listeners.
Aminatou: We really do. You can find us many places on the Internet, on our website callyourgirlfriend.com, you can download it anywhere you listen to your favorite podcasts, or on Apple Podcasts where we would love it if you left us a review. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at callyrgf. You can subscribe to our monthly newsletter The Bleed on the Call Your Girlfriend website. You can even leave us a short and sweet voicemail at 714-681-2943. That's 714-681-CYGF. Our theme song is by Robyn. All original music is composed by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs. Our logos are by Kenesha Sneed and this podcast is produced by Gina Delvac.
Ann: See you on the Internet in 2018.
Aminatou: See you on the Internet.
Hillary: I'm Hillary Clinton. See you on the Internet.